We were warned
About 12 years ago, my wife and I attended a training where we heard people promoting the idea of cell churches. Among their many benefits, we heard that cell churches would be vital in times of persecution. At the time it was hard to imagine the governments of Europe ever getting to the point where they would forbid churches to meet.
We didn't expect it to happen like this
That day arrived this week. Of course, the reason for this ban was not religious persecution. Rather it was an attempt to save our health system from being overloaded. Nevertheless, the ban was explicit: while tourists can wander into a church and take pictures, you are not allowed to gather to worship God. In the eyes of our government, the church meeting is as much a place to get infected as any other social event. In other words, we are perceived as part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Questions and lessons for the church
Any student of the scriptures knows that, the church is God's vessel of hope for society. But the Bible is less clear about church form. It is something we are left to explore. So how can we use the CoVid-19 crisis to refine our forms and structures to make church more effective?
Sowing and reaping?
The last decade has seen an amazing resurgence of belief that Jesus heals and for many Christians, faith in God has been inspired and encouraged by testimonies of many types of healings. I too have preached that Jesus heals and documented wonderful miracles in my videos. However, Corona viruses are flu-types, and rather than believing that I can live flu-free, I have simply accepted flu as a normal part of life, as a warning sign that I have not been taking care of my body and need a rest.
Could the Corona pandemic be a sign that we have not been taking care of the body of Christ? Could it be that we have sown individualism and reaped isolation? Or could it be that the god of our own personal well-being is being dethroned?
These are just some of the questions that I will be prayerfully looking into in the coming days.